Sushi Culture Purists Cry Foul Over Female Sushi Chefs

Sushi Culture Purists Cry Foul Over Female Sushi Chefs

Food & Drink

Sushi Culture Purists Cry Foul Over Female Sushi Chefs

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On a typical day in Tokyo, the traditional art of making sushi is commandeered by men, however, there is now a sushi restaurant shaking up the expected male roles and featuring a cast of female chefs.

As noted by Mariko Sanchanta, writing for the Wall Street Journal, female chefs are generally unheard of in Japan. It’s practically blasphemous, as this is traditionally a craft that is handed down from generation to generation of men.

That is, until now. Nadeshico (translation: ideal woman) Sushi opened its doors late last year and now young women line up behind a counter, carefully crafting individual pieces of nigiri (or regular) sushi while chatting with the clientele, of which 90% are male. The specialties: sushi rolls shaped like cartoon pandas and frog heads, adorned with heart-shaped eggs.  Awww, too cute. At Nadeshico Sushi, women learn how to make sushi in two months. That is compared, in sushi years, to completing medical school in a few weeks. One nice perk, the job doesn’t involve any of the dirty work involving fish, like gutting and slicing.

What I find most amusing is the reason behind the male dominated sushi culture, that women have warmer hands, therefore they are unable to properly handle the fresh fish–and that wearing makeup can defile the purity of the sushi! Really? I mean no disrespect, but I think it’s time to wake up in the year 2011 and give women an equal chance on the sushi playing field! Time to grow up boys. Delicate fingers make tasty treats.

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Photo: Ko Sasaki/The Wall Street Journal

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